Anne and Emily discovered that their riding guide, Alex, was a musician and mentioned that we had ukeleles on board. In no time a gig was organised for that evening and when we got to Yvonne's restaurant at 6pm there was a great sound coming into the evening air.
We met Alex, his uncle Henri, and wise old man, Alfonse playing a big drum, guitar, and 8 string ukelele whilst singing some lovely local and French songs. The table was already piled with beers to which we added more, and Justin and I produced the two ukeleles from TinTin, called kamakas, which were duly played, but not much by me as I'm still a clumsy fingered beginner. However I was pleased to be able to join in with many of the French lyrics which were easy to pick up, including a different version of "She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes!"
Best of all was to hear Polynesian songs, including some that Justin remembers well from his youth here. We were still singing "Oahe ite vaca" - paddle your canoe- as we sloshed back through the mud and streams to the quay later that night. Mid concert we broke for supper while the group played on, and afterwards I had a " doh, fa, sol " chord lesson from the experts. Justin meanwhile was strumming away like a pro.
It was very special to have shared an evening with Alex, Henri and Alfonse, and Yvonne said it was a rare treat to have people playing for fun. Normally they play when the Aranui supply ship arriveda and 130 passengers come by taxi for supper and entertainment.